Brian Cox Day 5

Day 5 – Author Question

I asked Brian Cox, author of “The Stratosphere: The Birth of Nostradamus”, why
he wrote his book.


Q. Why did you write “The Stratosphere: The Birth of Nostradamus”

     A. I believe most people have the capacity and desire to be creative.
     When I was a teenager I loved art. I enjoyed oil painting in particular, and
making things, such as model gliders. I did not seek an audience; I just took
pleasure from doing. As you get older, and time shrinks, you discover one day –
well at least I did – that you have moved so far away from the things you once
loved to do, that they no longer even qualify as strangers. If I picked up a pencil
now, the best I could manage would be a crude stick figure. Some skills disappear,
and they can be recovered, but only at great effort for a shadow of your youth’s
potential. This may sound glum, but that would be a misconception. I am a realist.
Being a realist, one that still needs a creative outlet, I thought why not writing. I
never considered myself a writer, though I have always wanted to write a novel.
     Like most white collar workers, I produce reams of dull grey prose for work.
It may not seem like a suitable spot to nurture creativity, and in many ways it isn’t;
however, it does hone a few skills, including, logical thinking, precision, and clear
communication. I can also type a lot faster! This led me to consider writing a
     The logical question that follows is: what gives you the right to foist your
efforts on the public? This is an issue I grappled with for some time. As a first time
novelist, one with no training or background in creative writing, one who does not
even have an adequate schooling to understand the rules of grammar, it was
possibly very arrogant of ill-conceived for me to imagine it would be acceptable to
publish my work. A few years back, all those concerns could have been washed
away at the publisher’s desk. If you wrote rubbish, it would go in the bin. Now the
democratization of publishing, with the removal of the gatekeepers, any fool,
including me, can make something available for anyone to purchase. Does this
freedom come with responsibility? I don’t know.
     In the end I decided to self-publish on KDP, not because I thought I had
written a beautiful work, but because I believe I have an important story, one that
is worth sharing.

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